When people commit rape in Texas, they may not always think about the laws which govern sexual assaults. These laws are important to remember, though, as they determine the severity of the charge, as well as the penalty.
According to FindLaw, a person commits sexual assault if they do not have consent to perform a sexual act. This means that a sexual assault has occurred if someone is not physically strong enough to keep the other person away from them or if a person needed to use violence so the sexual act could take place. Someone may also commit rape if they are in a position of authority as a public servant or health care provider.
Sometimes a sexual assault may be considered an aggravated assault if a person used an illegal substance or a deadly weapon. In this situation, people usually face a more severe penalty. Someone may be imprisoned for 25 years if the person they raped was under the age of 6 or if they used drugs to control another person and commit the sexual act. This kind of sexual assault is classified as a first degree felony. If someone commits a general sexual assault, they may be required to pay a $10,000 fine and be imprisoned for up to 20 years. While this kind of assault is usually considered a second degree felony, it may become a first degree felony if someone rapes a person they are not allowed to marry.
The penalty for rape can change depending on the age of the person who was assaulted. AgeOfConsent.net says that in Texas, a person needs to be 17 to consent to a sexual act. If someone continually sexually assaults a person under the age of 17, they may be charged with a first degree felony. In this situation, a person might either pay a $10,000 fine or be sentenced to imprisonment.